Alan Harvey

Emeritus Professor, MA Camb., PhD ANU

  • The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • The University of Western Australia (M413), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Born in London, UK. BA and MA from the University of Cambridge, PhD in visual neurophysiology from the Australian National University, Canberra. After time in the USA and at Flinders University in Adelaide, Alan Harvey came to UWA in 1984.  He was promoted to Professor in 2001 and in 2016 became an Emeritus Professor. He was for a number of years a member of the WA Reproductive Technology Council, and a he was a Board member of the Neurological Council of WA.  Harvey is currently a Board Member of the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science and is Chair of their Scientific Advisory Committee.   He is also a Board Member of the The University Club of Western Australia, and the Perth Symphonic Chorus.

Research interests

Continued studies on the use of gene therapy, transplantation and other bioengineering technologies in CNS repair, with increasing focus on spinal cord (collaborative NHMRC grant with Dr Nisbet at ANU, 2018-2020). Harvey has ongoing collaborations with Dr Stuart Hodgetts, Dr Jenny Rodger, Dr Dave Nisbett, Dr Vince Wallace, and Dr A Akari.

Publication by Oxford University Press in 2017 of his book: "Music, Evolution and the Harmony of Souls", combines Harvey's neuroscience and music interests. 

Funding overview

In 2018-2020 Alan Harvey is a CI (D) on an NHMRC Project Grant with Dr D Nisbett at the Australian National University, examining the potential of using gene therapy and novel polymer configurations to drive the in vivo trans-differentation of cells into neurons after CNS ischemia. In 2018-2019 he is a co-CI on a WA Neurotrauma Programme grant examining the impact of transcranial magnetic stimulation on recovery after spinal cord injury.

Current projects

See above. 


Alan Harvey's current research focuses on the use of gene therapy, cell/tissue transplantation, nanotechnology and pharmacotherapy in the repair of the central nervous system (CNS), with particular emphasis on the visual system and spinal cord. He is also involved in Alzheimer's disease research, and was a co-leader of the Foundational Research Program, WA Centre for Excellence in Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care (2006-2008). He also has an interest in the evolution and neuroscience of music, and published a book with Oxford University Press on the topic in 2017 (title:  Music, Evolution, and the Harmony of Souls). Publication of this book has resulted in Harvey recording a series of invited talks for ABC's  Science Show, and a he gave a TedX presentation in Perth in 2017.
To date he has published over 220 scientific papers or book chapters, including publications in PNAS, Journal of Neuroscience, Brain, Molecular Therapy, Gene Therapy, ACS Nano, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, Current Gene Therapy, eNeuro, Scientific Reports, Glia, Neurobiology of Aging, PLoS ONE, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Journal of Neurotrauma, and Experimental Neurology.

Research expertise keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cell death
  • Central nervous system development and regeneration
  • Gene therapy
  • Music, evolution and neuroscience
  • Neural transplantation
  • Neuroscience
  • Neurotrauma and neurodegeneration
  • Neurotrophic factors and cell death
  • Peripheral nerve regeneration
  • Regenerative neuroscience
  • Spinal cord injury and regeneration
  • Visual system


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